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$500 iem vs $500 headphones? - Page 2

post #16 of 51

Any headphones( more portable ones ) that are value for money that is better than those $5xx IEMs?

post #17 of 51
As from someone who began with an iPhone/iPod and IEMs and then moving on to a full size desktop rig, you can't exactly compare IEMs and headphones because most good headphones will need decent amplification to sound their best.

After going through multiple top end IEMs, and most recently the UE900, it was hard for me to appreciate them for what they were simply because I prefered the sound of my desktop setup far far more. I've never tried customs, but if I had a choice between spending 1000 dollars on a CIEM or a headphone for home use, I would pick the headphone without a doubt.
post #18 of 51
Whoops double post. Still getting used to head-fi mobile site :P
post #19 of 51

Now if I was going to spend $2000 on a setup then yes it would be headphones and a nice amp but in the $500 and under range IEM's are a better value imo.

post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peculier View Post

As from someone who began with an iPhone/iPod and IEMs and then moving on to a full size desktop rig, you can't exactly compare IEMs and headphones because most good headphones will need decent amplification to sound their best.
After going through multiple top end IEMs, and most recently the UE900, it was hard for me to appreciate them for what they were simply because I prefered the sound of my desktop setup far far more. I've never tried customs, but if I had a choice between spending 1000 dollars on a CIEM or a headphone for home use, I would pick the headphone without a doubt.
That is not true, unless it's high impedance headphones or not very efficient (planar for intance)
post #21 of 51

It's hard to compare headphones and IEMs. Back before... I was around (being a younger member of this community), headphones always outperformed IEMs. Nowadays with multi-BAs and other fancy high tech dynamic IEMs, the main difference is not sheer sonic performance but presentation. At any price point, in my experience, IEMs are more detailed, more responsive (faster attack and decay - check out those CSD plots) and have better bass control, whilst full size headphones image better and sound more spacious, and can often give a better feel for the bass. Technically, in my experience IEMs outperform headphones. In a sense it's like comparing speakers to headphones. That brings us to the question, do headphones outperform IEMs? that depends what kind of music you listen to.

As for me, I do prefer full size over IEMs, although since IEMs are far more convenient and isolate I tend to listen to IEMs more often (thus my IEM  budget is higher.) I just can't get over the spaciousness and feel that full size headphones offer, even though my IEMs have far more technical merit.

post #22 of 51

Based purely on performance, my HE-400 cans devour my Triple.fi 10. But it costs 3x as much so that's not really fair...>_>

 

I'm hoping to upgrade my TF10 to something like the Heir 4.Ai in the near future. $400 full size headphones vs $400 IEMs.

post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peculier View Post

As from someone who began with an iPhone/iPod and IEMs and then moving on to a full size desktop rig, you can't exactly compare IEMs and headphones because most good headphones will need decent amplification to sound their best.
 

 

 

     and then steps in the Tzar 350, IEM with a nominal impedance of 350 ohms

 

    

700

Dr. John Moulton

Here at Noble, we craft some of the finest universal and custom in-ear monitors available today. 

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post #24 of 51

It really depends on what you are evaluating. If soundstage and imaging are more important to you, then go full-size. Most people will say full-size is better because those factors are both more important to many, and are also "wow" factors. However, if you prefer a more intimate soundstage, the W4 will give you unprecedented quality bass and lush mids in a portable form at that price range. The W4's presentation is more intimate and clean versus robust and spacious. It's all about what is important for you. Would you prefer tight, clean bass? Or space in your soundstage?

post #25 of 51
Personally from my experiences I enjoy iems more. To me they have more bass impact than headphones.
post #26 of 51
The denon d2000, if you can find any, really don't need an amp and sound amazing IMO.
post #27 of 51

There really is little competition. I own several custom IEM's and heard/own many of the highly regarded universals. In fact, all told, I've spent more than 5k on building a portable setup. In retrospect this was a mistake and I'd gladly exchange all of it for a 009 setup. Sure, customs are awesome and provide a substantial improvement on universals, but even attached to nearly 2k worth of equipment they just pale in comparison.

 

My HD650, properly amped, is superior to any of my customs. There may be an aspect here and there that I prefer with IEM's. but the experience is handicapped comparatively. With something like the HE6, HD800 and Stax 007 there simply isn't any basis for comparison. 

post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericfarrell85 View Post

There really is little competition. I own several custom IEM's and heard/own many of the highly regarded universals. In fact, all told, I've spent more than 5k on building a portable setup. In retrospect this was a mistake and I'd gladly exchange all of it for a 009 setup. Sure, customs are awesome and provide a substantial improvement on universals, but even attached to nearly 2k worth of equipment they just pale in comparison.

 

My HD650, properly amped, is superior to any of my customs. There may be an aspect here and there that I prefer with IEM's. but the experience is handicapped comparatively. With something like the HE6, HD800 and Stax 007 there simply isn't any basis for comparison. 

 

I agree with you for the most part. And several months ago I would have whole-heartedly agreed with you. But I thinks it's customs where you are going wrong. All of my customs sound inarticulate, congested, and lacking in detail when compared to my high-end headphones, AND ALSO my high-end universals. You should give the Final Audio Design FI-BA-SS and Piano Forte a listen. My FI-BA-SS has the most natural and accurate detail and timbre, not to mention delicacy and transparency of anything I own. 

 

Some say the Piano Forte X is a 009 level experience. 

 

But then again, these are rare, extremely expensive, hard-to-get, esoteric Japanese products. It's a totally different ballgame than the mass-produced chunks of acrylic that JH and Westone produce. While I love my ES5 for many reasons, it just can't touch a supremely engineered single armature, connected to something like Analog Squared Paper's tube amps (in the process of obtaining). But that is a very expensive road.

post #29 of 51

Comfort wise I prefer non iem offerings better... I'm a gum chewer... iems kinda hurt your ears when you chew on things...

post #30 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundFreaq View Post

 

I agree with you for the most part. And several months ago I would have whole-heartedly agreed with you. But I thinks it's customs where you are going wrong. All of my customs sound inarticulate, congested, and lacking in detail when compared to my high-end headphones, AND ALSO my high-end universals. You should give the Final Audio Design FI-BA-SS and Piano Forte a listen. My FI-BA-SS has the most natural and accurate detail and timbre, not to mention delicacy and transparency of anything I own. 

 

Some say the Piano Forte X is a 009 level experience. 

 

But then again, these are rare, extremely expensive, hard-to-get, esoteric Japanese products. It's a totally different ballgame than the mass-produced chunks of acrylic that JH and Westone produce. While I love my ES5 for many reasons, it just can't touch a supremely engineered single armature, connected to something like Analog Squared Paper's tube amps (in the process of obtaining). But that is a very expensive road.

are the Piano Forte X Less than $500 if so please share the link. I am asking because I believe the topic was $500 IEM vs $500 Headphones. In addition I agree the Stax would blow IEM's out of the water. But really we should be comparing IEM and Headphones that are in the same price range.

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